Greenkeeper helping conserve countryside and golf traditions

Kingarroch Hickory Golf Club.
Kingarroch Hickory Golf Club.

A greenkeeper at Kingarrock, the National Trust for Scotland’s hickory golf course, is up for a major environmental award.

Owen Browne is on the shortlist of finalists for Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year in the 2016 Golf Environment Awards.

The awards, held by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI), recognise the countryside conservation work of golf clubs.

Bob Taylor, STRI senior consultant – ecology & environment, said “The awards provide an important platform in which we can demonstrate the excellent work of individual golf clubs and the commitment of the industry as a whole in the protection and conservation of our depleting countryside.

“Golf is one of the few sports that is able to contribute both constructively and profitably to global sustainability. I am extremely proud to be working within the golfing community, which is now focusing heavily on sustainability in all of its guises and in the conservation of our natural resources.”

Kingarrock’s hickory golf heritage stretches back to 1904 but the nine-hole course was commandeered for agriculture during World War Two. In the 1990s Trust staff discovered a 1924 map of the old course and it was restored to its former glory, finally re-opening in 2008.

The Trust took over the ownership of the course in October 2014 and recruited a PGA Professional to help run it.